Deep in the Nashville music scene, Torn hearts ask the old question; how far would you go to make your dreams come true?
Produced by Blumhouse and Epix, written by Rachel Koller Croft and directed by Brea Grant, Torn hearts Follow an ambitious country music duo – Jordan (Abby Quinn) and Leigh (Alexxis Lemire) – who are striving for great success. When the opportunity arises, they make their way in search of the private mansion of their idol, the legend of country music Harper Dutch (Katey Sagal). After a night of awkwardly imposed southern hospitality, the girls end up in a tangled series of horrors that force them to face the limits they would go to for celebrities.
Torn hearts combines country music and horror; not a common pair, but a welcome one. The music is sincere and full of soul and there is a popular charm that makes the setting look concrete and out of the world of horror. Before things get worse, it’s easy to forget it’s a genre movie.
Once Harper is introduced, that reality comes in a hurry. Sagal like Harper has an imposing force. She is absolutely excellent in the role, playing Harper with a vulnerability that almost covers her madness. It is cold and calculated, but it provides enough heat to keep the fire of hope burning. Harper offers both the carrot and the stick, offering a golden opportunity with one hand and disturbing mental games with the other.
In Sagal, Quinn and Lemire, Grant has a talented cast of musicians. It gives an earthy quality to the film and it’s even more impressive to know that a certain sequence was recorded live during the filming of the scene.
Grant works extremely well with her cast to bring out the best in their shows. And – as with 12-hour shift – it’s always exciting to see a strong role for a mature actress to really play with, especially in genre cinema. As a character, Harper Dutch can be up there with Annie Wilkes and Pamela Voorhees. We need more of this.
The decor and production design are truly impeccable. Harper’s imposing, hyper-feminine mansion is like a candy-covered, abrasive pink version of The Bates family home. The once elegant life inside has disappeared, as if owned by Barbie Dream House Baby Jane. It is amazing and disappointing and is the perfect setting for a bit of sinister hospitality in the South.
Apart from the country and chaos, Torn hearts he has enough to say. It focuses on relationships (business, family and personal) and the roles that women are offered in society. We should be brothers but loving, supportive but superior, and maintain high standards but be sexually available.
Above that, Torn hearts it’s about the reality of the entertainment industry and how women are essentially cornered in competition with each other. Everyone is fighting for the same limited opportunities. As a director says Brea Grant“It’s a system that was built to make us lose.”
With Torn hearts, Croft and Grant explore what happens when a beloved star once passes the expiration date, thrown away and forgotten, and what effect this has on one’s psyche. They highlight the way women are repeatedly told to use everything they have to move forward, but they are seized by opportunities. They expose how women are subtly pushed into competitive comparison and how others take advantage of it.
Finally, Torn hearts it offers a hopeless, capricious, ingrained horror, but with a nuanced edge that comes out in the center of the scene for the climax of the film. The playful combination of music, madness and message requires a place in the spotlight and is an attractive new song for women in horror. Horror movies directly from Blumhouse and Epix have set a new standard.
You can look Torn hearts now on digital! Check out the trailer and poster below and click here for our interview with Brea Grant director.